We live in the golden age of browsers. I remember the original Mosaic browser crawling across my Mac’s screen back in the mid-1990s and I knew the world was in for a massive change. Every browser I have on my Mac– about half a dozen to date– differs a bit in personality, functionality, and capability, but all are free, all render webpages fast, and all are customizable. The more recent trend in the browser arena has been toward privacy and security.
Guess which browser is the worst offender for privacy and security? Google’s Chrome.
Not only is Chrome no longer the fastest browser– it still has plenty of extensions so add-on functionality is good– it may be the single worst browser on earth for tracking its users. After all, that’s what Google does when you’re online. Track. Stalk. Cull. Last week I read an interesting multi-page article about how to make Chrome faster and better. That’s because Google builds into Chrome many ways to track users while they’re online; gathering personal information that can be mixed and matched and stored in what can only be described as a personal data file or dossier of who you are, what you buy, and where you travel while online.
The five tips included some basics. OneTab to put all open tabs into a single tab which saves on battery life. Google’s own DataSaver extension to compress webpages so ads get to your face faster. Clear Browser Data which I’m sure Google doesn’t want to include in Chrome but too many users are onto all this tracking nonsense. Anti-malware tools to ensure a safe browsing experience.
How is using Chrome safe?
All things considered, NoodleMac is optimized for reading, not tracking. No trackers. No analytics trackers. No advertising trackers. Each webpage loads fast and uses fewer requests and less bandwidth.
Now, compare that score with results from the popular Six Colors website run by Jason Snell, a site with nominal advertising.
The Fully Loaded Time is about six times NoodleMac, and Requests have ballooned almost four dozen. And that’s from a website with nominal tracking and advertising. What about a website that is advertising centric?
Here’s a look at a typical webpage from the very popular 9to5 Mac site. Note the scores and Page Details.
What does this have to do with Google’s Chrome?
Google uses Chrome to track your online habits; which websites you visit, when you visit, what you download and from where, and all that data is stored in the search engine giant’s vast vaults for regurgitation which helps their advertising business. Search Google for Blue Microphones and click around to half a dozen webpages about microphones and for the next week you will see advertising on many websites about… insert the famous drum roll here… Blue Microphones. You’re being tracked and tempted by Chrome.
Wait. All browsers track, right? Not quite. Safari has anti-tracking mechanisms built-in which can prevent some trackers. Opera has a built-in VPN which helps to disguise your IP address and location and block ads and trackers. Most browsers can utilize extensions which inhibit trackers, block most advertising, and provide a more private and secure browsing experience. There is a reason why Chrome is the world’s most used browser. But it’s not a good reason. Users just don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.
It’s not difficult to see why technology websites which rely on trackers and tracker advertising to promote a browser that tracks users more than any other browser.